My child does not respect me

My daughter is now aged eight and of late her behaviour has become a major concern. I always find myself pleading with her before she can do anything. She does not respect me and I am starting to feel inadequate as a parent.  Maureen, Masaka

My daughter is now aged eight and of late her behaviour has become a major concern. I always find myself pleading with her before she can do anything. She does not respect me and I am starting to feel inadequate as a parent. 

Maureen, Masaka

 

Dear Maureen, 

 

Many parents today find themselves in a similar situation. Often they confuse love with responsibility. It is ok to love your children, we all do. But it is important to teach them about responsibility and you cannot achieve this if your authority is not being felt around the home. 

 

Establishing authority in your daughter’s life does not mean beating the living daylights out of her. It is 2014 and there are lots of other civilised ways of doing things. You need to set limits and boundaries that will be adhered to. 

You can start by being clear when you speak to your daughter. There is no need to end each sentence with ‘Okay’ as that tends to make it look like it is a plea. You do not always have to engage your children in unnecessary negotiations. They need to learn that sometimes what you are telling them to do is what ought to be done, not discussed. 

When you set reasonable limits and teach your children to respect authority this will also help with their academic life. Academic success always goes hand in hand with discipline and if this is not taught at home, it may not be appreciated at school. 

You should also talk to other parents and learn from them how they handle such situations. Sometimes what may be a problem for you could be something that your colleague faced and solved. 

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